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The War On Terror Has Contributed To A

Grave Abuse Of Human Rights.

The War on Terror has led to grave human rights violations and, in response, to a growing
volume of human rights litigation. The War On Terror has been exploited by western
governments to reduce civil liberties and take away basic human right thus the term war is not
appropriately used in this context since there is no one enemy. This essay would provide an
argument of litigation that has unfolded in recent years in relation to issues such as extraordinary
rendition. The essay would further provide a prism which displays key characteristics of the
War on Terror as it affects human rights such as what is happening in Afghanistan, Syria, and
Palestine and how citizens of the victim country become the target, arbitrary detention and
torture- ill-treatment, demolition of social infrastructure and becoming refugees. War is a conflict
carried on by force of arms, as between nations or parties within a nations warfare, as by land,
sea or air. Terror is a person or thing that causes intense fear and Terrorism is the systematic use
of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal, hence this leads to the question what is
human right and human rights abuse? Human Rights is the basic rights and freedoms to which all
humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and
expression, and equality before the law thus Human Rights Abuse is infringement on the
fundamental human rights.

The War on Terror is an international campaign to end terrorism. The effort is overseen by the
United States and the United Kingdom and also receives much support from the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, or NATO. The effort has included several wars, lately the Iraq war and
recently Syria and also the war in Afghanistan. It is being fought predominantly in the Middle
East, but also in Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. The War On Terror officially began on
October 7, 2001 and was spurred by the attack on the World Trade Center of the United States
on September 11, 2001. The initial phase of the War On Terror was the war in Afghanistan.
This resulted in the fall of the Taliban government as well as the destruction of the Al Qaeda
camps. The Iraq War began in 2003 and has resulted in the overthrow of the Baath Party
government as well as the execution of Saddam Hussein, the nations former leader. Free
elections and a democratic government have been instated in Iraq, but insurgency and loss of
civilian lives continues. The phrase War on Terror was initially used by President George W.
Bush on 20th September 2001.The Bush administration and the Western media have since used
the term to signify a global military, political, lawful, and conceptual struggle targeting both
organizations designated as terrorist and regimes accused of supporting them. It was typically
used with a particular focus on militant Islamists, al-Qaeda, and other jihadist groups and
excludes other independent campaigns such as those by Russia and India. However, it has not
been used by the administration of President Barack Obama. Instead, this administration prefers
to refer to the effort as the Overseas Contingency Operation.

Problem/Thesis Statement

The war on terror is having a great misfortune on the lives of its victims. We have been
witnessing the deteriorating state at which this War On Terror is being used to infringed on the
fundamental human right of civilians of the victim countries, in the likes of them being killed
unjustly and tortured without any concrete reason.. This makes us to wonder if really the war on
terror is achieving its purpose or it is just combated to achieve a different goal.

Argument 1

Recently, one could witness the massacre of civilians in most of the major Islamic countries like
Syria, Pakistan, Gaza, Palestine, and Afghanistan and how citizens of the country become
victims hence the target. Most of these civilians are denied the right to live because they are
invaded by some militaries from the western countries that kill them cruelly all in the name of
fighting terrorist. According to Human Right First (2012) in their fact sheet report, 1,179
civilians have died in Syria since February 2012 and over 9,000+ civilian deaths since the start of
the uprising in March 2011. Robinson Jennifer, a London-based human rights lawyer said it is
time for the US to re-examine the consequences of its dehumanizing deadly attacks in Pakistan
(Al- Jazeera, 2011). The shootings and bombings of this supposed terrorists has become rampant.
According to a publication by Al- Jazeera (2011), Pakistanis have become increasingly angry
over US drone that kill civilians, such as a 16-year-old boy named Tariq Aziz. Furthermore,
Manach (2011) found that, the War on Terror civilians suffered the greatest number of deaths.
The Iraq Body Count documented between 100 and 110,000 civilians who died violent deaths
since 2003 to present. She further stated that if the figures published in The Lancet are
controversial, the estimated number of victims from the Iraqi War could range from 100,000 to
over one million. This is outrageous thus absolutely an injustice which illustrates a breach of
international Law and Pakistani law by the US government hence a violation on their human

Argument 2

Moreover, arbitrary detention and torturing of these citizens without trial is a major issue. The
War On Terror has indeed contributed to the growing abuse of human rights. Under the United
State Act and Human Right Act, everyone has the right to be judged, trialed and have access to a
lawyer, but unfortunately, that is not the case here. Suspected terrorists who are captured by the
US Army are being sent to exile where nobody knows their whereabouts be it the persons
family or the victim government. These civilians are tortured and detained on mere remorse
coming from some secret organizations of the US. Sometimes, most of the civilians remain
behind bars in the US prisons for the rest of their life without being trialed in any court of
competent jurisdiction. A publication by Rhode (2013), in the truth out magazine explained how
President Obama and the CIA tortured and detained suspected terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay
with drones without them being trialed. Here is a case when the victim is found not guilty; there
is no form of compensation to the family members. This is indeed a great abuse of human right
but the US finds it justifiable and dont really care about it.

Argument 3

Demolition of social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, electricity and more is also a major
factor. Due to War On Terror, the victim countries social infrastructures are destroyed
whereby it prevents their civilians from enjoying government benefit. According to a 2013 recent
publication by Reuters, more than a fifth of Syrias schools have been destroyed or made
unusable in more than two years of conflict, jeopardizing the education of 2.5 million young
people. Hitherto, due to demolition of social infrastructure like hospitals, civilians do not get
access to shelter and healthcare which makes them become very sick and malnourished. A
November 2012 report by the Feinstein International Center stated clearly that, one in three
Afghan children are malnourished, with rates of malnourishment far higher in conflicted-affected
regions such as those in the countrys south. Among children under 5 years old, Afghanistan has
the highest rate of stunted growth in the world. Access to healthcare remains very limited, with
15% of the population without access to even the most basic healthcare services. In areas where
fighting continues, militants lack respect for the neutrality of healthcare facilities, making
attending these facilities dangerous. Additionally, the War On Terror forces citizens to move
out of their country due to the dilapidated state of the countries building after the shootings and
bombings. Since they have no place to stay and cant get access to food and safety, the situation
compiles them to migrate to other neighboring countries hence becoming refugees in other to

Counter Argument

Yes, indeed, there is no argument that the War On Terror has increased surveillance of the
general population of specific groups and given the police more powers in their jurisdiction to
fight against terrorist. The War On Terror has also broadened our horizon to know the
existence of terrorists and the harm that they can cause to a country and has also pave way for
the general public to report the hideouts of some dangerous terrorists.

The American PATRIOT Act gave the security services added impetus and authorization to act
domestically by increasing their powers of surveillance. In addition to such clearly apparent
modifications to the role of Western security services, the range and nature of the clandestine
activities that they perform also appear to have increased. These include assisting various
military units in the pursuit of high value targets in Iraq and Afghanistan and the interrogation
of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. (Oliver Jack 2013).

Even though the War On Terror has increased surveillance of the general population of
specific groups, it has actually done more harm than good. Lets be realistic here, ever since the
declaration of War On Terror, the number of lives lost in this agenda is ten times more than the
deaths at the September 11 bombings of the World Trade Center. Based on the definition of
terrorism, the United States is a terrorist country itself since they invade a country, violate the
rights of the country civilians, killed innocent citizens and render them homeless. Seriously, the
purpose of War On Terror is a total failure thus it has rather led to a grave increased in


As time passes by, the War On Terror is really becoming a night mere to the world. Civilians
brutally killed like animals, tortured like they are inhuman and given life sentences based on
irrelevant fact is up surd. This leads us to the question Of all the innocent men, women, and
children killed, are they also terrorist. Critically analyzing this scenario, one could notice that the
War On Terror or Terrorism is really not a war on terror but a war on Islam since they only
classify Muslims as terrorists. This can be clearly seen in the so called agenda of the US whereby
they only fight against Muslim countries and support any country which has a grudge with an
Islamic state or nation. It is high time, the Human Rights Organizations and Human Rights
Activists, Pressure Groups, United Nations and all responsible organizations wake up and make
an investigation on the War On Terror so that these unlawful acts would be minimized and
stopped totally. The War On Terror can be stopped if the western countries do not invade into
the properties of the Middle East, do not arrest their citizens and slain them brutally. With all the
evidences provided above, there is no objection that the War On Terror has indeed contributed
to the growing abuse of human right.